Murder at The Mill by M. B. Shaw Book Review

Last night, I finished Murder at The Mill by M. B. Shaw. I received this uncorrected proof copy from Trapeze Books in exchange for an honest review. I have given this book three out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Book Description (via Goodreads): As featured in the Sunday Times, the first festive mystery in a new crime series from bestselling author Tilly Bagshawe – a must-read for fans of Agatha Christie’s Marple and Midsomer Murders. A picture hides a thousand lies . . . And only Iris Grey can uncover the truth. Iris Grey arrives at Mill Cottage in a picture-perfect Hampshire village, looking to escape from her crumbling marriage. She is drawn to the neighbouring Wetherby family, and is commissioned to paint a portrait of Dominic Wetherby, a celebrated crime writer. At the Wetherby’s Christmas Eve party, the mulled wine is in full flow – but so too are tensions and rivalries among the guests. On Christmas Day, the youngest member of the Wetherby family, Lorcan, finds a body in the water. A tragic accident? Or a deadly crime? With the snow falling, Iris enters a world of village gossip, romantic intrigue, buried secrets and murder. As featured in the Sunday Times, the first mystery in a new crime series from bestselling author Tilly Bagshawe – a must-read for fans of Agatha Christie’s Marple and Midsomer Murders.

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I’ve Reached 1,000 Likes on My Blog!!

Just now I received a fantastic notification on WordPress to say that I’ve reached 1,000 likes on my blog!

Once again I am completely overwhelmed as it’s only been since the 22nd December when I received the notification to say I’d reached 500 likes on my blog.

I feel so lucky to have incredible, supporting followers and I hope you enjoy my content (and me, of course!)!

Thank you, you lovely humans and I hope you’re all having a great Monday!

Forever grateful,

Love, Claire ☺️

Who Does It Better? Book Covers: U.K. vs U.S.

Hi everybody!

I thought I would jazz things up a bit and make a post other than an award/book tag or book review. So I will be discussing which book covers I prefer between the U.K. and U.S. versions.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

1) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

First book cover is U.K. – Second book cover is U.S.

I think both of the covers are clever because it’s supposed to look like a moving train and they are both very similar in that aspect. I prefer the U.K. version compared to the U.S. one because of the font style and how it’s stretched to resemble a fast train going by rather than the letters in the U.S. version which, in my opinion, doesn’t look as good. Also, I really like the caption snippet on the front of the U.K. cover “You don’t know her. But she knows you.” I don’t know about you but that definitely gives a mysterious, gripping urge to want to pick this book up and find out what happens.

What would you have changed about the covers?

I would have added a silhouette of a woman on the train, to stick to the title of the book, as I think that would’ve created a mysterious factor to the cover because you wouldn’t be able to see her features, so you’d still be able to conjure up your own picture of what “the girl on the train” looks like in your imagination.

2) Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I absolutely adore both of the book covers for Caraval in their U.K. and U.S. versions! Let’s start with the U.K. (the first book cover); it’s absolutely gorgeous, with sparkly writing and stars on the book. I love the unique style for the spine of the book when it’s half black and half white. I like the colours used in the U.S. book cover with the deep red and the sparkly blue star. I like how the font has more swirly parts but overall I think they were more creative with the U.K. version and I prefer that one because of all the different unique elements the book cover has to offer.

3) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

The first book cover is the U.K. and the second book cover is the U.S. version. I prefer the U.S. version by far! I love how the headphones intertwine to make the ‘&’ sign in the title of the book and it’s so simple yet means so much. Especially the fact that they are close together. Whereas, on the U.K. version I love the colours but I’m not a huge fan of the design of the book cover. I do love the little snippet caption that says “You never forget your first love…” but besides that it didn’t win me over.

4) It by Stephen King

I haven’t read this book (yet). I will buy it and read it one day but for now the 1,100 page book will keep intimidating me until I get round to doing so. Swiftly onto the book covers, the first on is the U.K. and the second is the U.S. version. As I have seen the most recent movie adaptation of It, I obviously know what the story is about. From knowing this, I prefer the U.S. version with Pennywise’s jagged tooth smile over the U.K. version with the mysterious sky setting and the child running with balloons. I do like the U.K. version too, but I feel as though it doesn’t really give the genre away to the reader. I feel as though it looks more like a murder mystery story than a horror novel.

5) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

I adore both of these covers so much! The first is the U.K. and the second is the U.S. version. I love that the Hogwarts Express is featured in the U.K. version, as well as Harry flying his Nimbus 2000, trying to catch the Golden Snitch in the U.S. version. The only thing that stands out differently on these covers are the words ‘Philosopher’s’ and ‘Sorcerer’s’. So I guess, I’d have to go with the U.K. version (being a Brit and whatnot) that I prefer!

I hope you guys enjoyed my book cover opinions! Which book covers did you prefer? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading,

Claire 📚

The Blogger Recognition Award

I have been nominated by the lovely Lili over at Lili’s Blissful Pages and I’m so sorry it’s taken me a while to complete this award and post it, I didn’t realise February was going to be a busy month (and we haven’t even reached half way through the month yet)! Thank you again to Lili for nominating me for this wonderful award!

Once you are nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award, if you wish to accept your nomination, you must follow these rules:

• Generate a post about the award.

• Thank the blogger who nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.

• Write a brief story about how your blog began.

• Provide two pieces of advice to newbie bloggers.

• Select 15 blogs to nominate.

• Comment on each nominee’s blog and provide a link to the post that you created about the award.

So, how did your blog begin?

A couple of years ago, I started seeing a lot of bloggers on different social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter etc. They were blogging about beauty, travel and their lifestyles and I suddenly thought what about books? Surely somebody out there must have a blog about books and that’s when I looked into book blogging and here I am today. I couldn’t believe how big the community for books online there is and I’m so happy to be able to be a part of it. I love reading everyone’s posts, sharing and discussing about one of the biggest passions in our lives, books.

Blogging Advice

1) Time – don’t feel pressured to write blog post after blog post. Do it in your own time. Quality over quantity. In the first year of blogging, I found I was really pushing myself to find different ideas to write about which I didn’t end up doing because I became so stressed and my work and social life became busy so I ended up forgetting about my blog for a while and coming back to it a few months later.

2) Be honest – learning to be honest and share your own opinion did take time for me as well, I felt as though I wanted to be able to please everybody but myself. I love reading everyone’s reviews whether I agree or disagree with their opinions and I have finally learnt to be honest and write how I really feel towards a book.

I really hope you enjoyed my blogging advice and can either relate or learn from it too!

My nominees for the Blogger Recognition Award are:

For those of you nominated, please don’t feel obliged to have to do this award especially if you don’t do them or if you have already done this one.

I hope you all are having a great week so far,

Speak to you soon,

Claire ☺️

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend Book Review

I received this copy from Trapeze Books in exchange for an honest review. I have given Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend five out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Book Description (via Goodreads): A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world — but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination. Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks — and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organisation: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart — an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests — or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate. Perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series and Neil Gaiman, this fast-paced plot and imaginative world has a fresh new take on magic that will appeal to a new generation of readers.

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January Wrap Up

The first Wrap Up of the year is here! I didn’t read as much as I would’ve liked to in January however I still found time to read which is the main thing.

In January, I completed reading four books (however I finished Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights by Carole Matthews in early January but I included it in my December Wrap Up (Christmas Bookathon Wrap Up) which you can find here).

The books I completed were:

  • Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
  • Almost Adulting: All You Need To Know to Get It Together (Sort Of) by Arden Rose
  • The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances

I thoroughly enjoyed all four books I completed in January.

I gave Turtles All The Way Down by John Green five out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ TATWD was definitely a big anticipated read that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on, it was so lovely to have received a copy from my other half at Christmas. I love John Green’s writing so much, especially for this book – holy heck it was just fantastic! You can find my review of TATWD here. I’d love to meet John Green one day!

I gave Almost Adulting: All You Need To Know To Get It Together (Sort Of) by Arden Rose five out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ It was just the kind of book I needed to read. It’s full of topics that I could relate to and the book just simply spoke to me. Especially, as I explained in my book review which you can find here, that my partner, Rich, and I are looking to move out this year and there was a chapter that talks about living independently which I will definitely read back over when that milestone happens in my life.

I gave The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances four out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I thought this was such a fantastic psychological thriller and thoroughly enjoyed the spine-tingling moments it made me feel. I had to put the book down sometimes as there were events that took place which were unbelievably inhumane and made me feel sick to my stomach and other events horrified me. You can find my review I wrote for The Girlfriend here.

The book I’m currently reading at the moment is Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow which I received from Trapeze Books in exchange for an honest review. I’ve read 145 pages so far and I’m really enjoying it! So far, I would recommend this book to fans of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. I look forward to finishing this book (hopefully this weekend) as I’m finding it quite difficult to put it down.

How many books did you read in January? Which was your favourite book your read? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading,

Claire 📚